Iowa cornerback B.J. Lowery and wide receiver/punt returner Kevonte Martin-Manley each won Big Ten weekly honors Monday for their performances against Western MIchigan. Lowery was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after returning two interceptions for touchdowns. He also recorded four tackles against the Broncos. Lowery is the first Iowa player to be named Defensive Player of the Week since the immortal Tom "Nard Dog" Nardo did it in 2011.
Martin-Manley became just the third player in the history of the conference to return two punts for touchdowns in the same game, the first to do so since 1978. His 184 punt return yards were the second-highest single-game total in Iowa football history, passed only by an obscure guy from the 1930s named Nile Kinnick. Martin-Manley is the first Hawkeye to win the special team award since Mike Meyer took it home last year for kicking three field goals against Michigan State.
As Morehouse points out, it's not every week that Iowa wins two B1G awards:
First time two Iowa players honored by B1G since Angerer and Clayborn vs. Penn State in '09. The blocked punt game.— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) September 23, 2013
It's not all wine and roses, though: Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner won Big Ten Freshman of the Week for his 222-yard performance in his first career start against San Jose State. Leidner rushed for 151 yards and threw for 71. Jerry Kill has already announced that erstwhile starter Philip Nelson is doubtful for this week's game against Iowa, meaning Leidner will get a second opportunity to work his pass-averse magic Saturday
BONUS! Video of Martin-Manley's back-to-back punt return touchdowns, in case you haven't seen them yet:
Also, go vote for Martin-Manley in this poll on ESPN if you haven't done so yet.